My iPhone Home Screen — January 2018

I’ve never done a very extensive walkthrough of the apps that I use on my iPhone. In the past I’ve posted images of my home screen or published lists of the apps I’m currently using. Now that I’ve gotten into my groove for 2018, I’ve decided to publish a walkthrough that details why I use the apps that I do. I’ll go by row from the bottom up and start with the dock.

My Dock

Like most people, my dock consists of the four apps I use most frequently. Starting with Messages, which is hands down the app I use the most for private communication. Tweetbot takes the cake though for the most used app on my iPhone. I love Twitter the service, but their first party app is terrible. It’s poorly designed, has too many ads, and tries to show you things you don’t want to see far too often. Tweetbot is tried and true. It has a beautiful, utilitarian user interface that works perfectly. It’s also customizable enough to let you make it your own. Things 3 is the third app in my dock. It’s by far the best task manager for iOS. It’s design fits in better with iOS than any other todo list app. I use it for all of my reminders, especially now that it integrates with Siri. I can’t forget to mention that it comes with an excellent Apple Watch app so you can quickly glance at your list throughout your day without taking your phone out. The last app in my dock is Overcast, by far the best podcast client there is. Overcast has a stunning deep black background with powerful sync features. There’s no better alternative for listening to podcasts.

Row 6

Row 6 is pretty self explanatory. Safari, Mail, App Store, and Settings. These four built-in apps are all iOS staples. Safari is by far the best iPhone web browser, the App Store is a necessity for someone who downloads apps constantly and Settings is a must for someone like me who changes things all the time. Mail however is a bit of a different story. Many power users have switched to apps like Airmail or Spark. I prefer the default client because you know you can trust it and because it just works. I don’t have to worry about it whatsoever.

Row 5

This is where things start to get exciting. PCalc is one of my favorite iOS apps because it is by far the most customizable. You can change virtually everything about the app even down to the icon on the home screen. It also happens to have a super fun Easter egg game hidden within its about screen. Slack is a necessity for me since I have to use it for work. I don’t have anything bad to say about Slack but I also don’t think of it as something too stellar. Streaks bounces between my main home screen and my second screen. It’s currently on my main home screen because of the new year. I’m trying to keep up with exercise, vitamins, and other life things. Pokémon Go is on my main home screen right now because I’ve been playing it much more recently with the introduction of the generation 3 Pokémon. It’s the game I probably play the most on my iPhone, even if it is a battery assassin.

Row 4

The next row involves productivity apps. I use Pixelmator all the time for quick photo edits on the go. It’s a powerful tool that’s incredibly easy to use no matter the size of the screen. Even on the iPhone, it’s a great tool. Fantastical is my calendar app of choice. It’s side scrolling week view that’s combined with a list view i, in my opinion, the very best implementation of a mobile calendar. Apple Notes is an important part of my workflow since I use it for class notes at school. I used to use Evernote, but I’ve since switched to Apple Notes because of the better organizational features and the new additions Apple has made in recent iOS updates. Ulysses is one of my favorite apps. I use it to write articles like this as well as long papers and emails. It’s a clean work environment that nothing can top.

Row 3

Wallet is an important app on my iPhone since I find myself using Apple Pay quite often. I also have passes like my Starbucks card, movie tickets, and plane tickets. Google Maps is on my main home screen, which may come as a surprise to people that know me. I switched to using Google Maps about a month ago. I initially just wanted to try out their new map tiles. But I’ve since switched permanently across my devices. I love the way Google Maps displays information and sync across my devices. Carrot Weather is bar none the best weather app on any platform. Sure, it shows all the information that you need at a glance, but it does it with snark. It’s so much fun to check the weather now because you never know what you are going to get. Workflow is a necessity for any power user. I have several important workflows set up on my iPhone, but I tend to use it more on my iPad. On my iPhone I have a workflow that adds an iPhone X border to screenshots and several Safari workflows that make getting things done easier.

Row 2

As we approach the top of my home screen, we begin to see entertainment apps. This row includes Spotify. You can read more about why I currently use Spotify instead of Apple Music in this previous post. YouTube is one of the most used apps on my iPhone. It’s YouTube, there’s not much more to say. Files is so nice to have on iPhone because I can quickly glance at things on my Mac. I can also share files that are on my Mac from my iPhone when I’m on the go. It’s a very important app for me now. Reeder is my RSS app of choice. It’s incredibly straight forward and has multiple reading views for different lighting conditions.

Row 1

The top row includes Snapchat and Instagram. The two other social networks I use on a daily basis. Photos is key to many of my workflows as well as sharing. The last app is Halide, an excellent third party camera app that has manual controls that are very easy to use. The interface is beautiful and a recent update for the iPhone X takes advantage of the notch to show more information.

Conclusion

So there you have it. That’s my iPhone home screen in a nutshell. I cannot forget to mention that I’m using the iOS 8 default wallpaper optimized for the iPhone X. I’ve been using a black wallpaper for awhile and wanted to switch things up as it can get boring over time. If you enjoyed this piece, stay tuned for my iPad home screen overview coming soon.